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Situational ingenuity of teachers: The key to transformative, content-focused technology integration

• 1. Transformative, content-focused classroom technology integration Joan E. Hughes Associate Professor of Learning Technologies The University of Texas at Austin joanh@austin.utexas.edu http://techedges.org @techedges
• 2. Introductions • Who are you? • Why did you come tonight? • What do you hope to learn? • What do you think of this topic?
• 3. 21st Century Education 2000 2100 14% • Critical Thinking • Communication • Collaboration • Creativity
• 4. • Critical Thinking • Communication • Collaboration • Creativity + • Connected • Content-focused • Computing (digital)
• 6. Image of the Possible: Rope Sine Wave Exploration a story of standardization
• 7. I started this year, I did this filming project for the iPad and we went outside and we just kind of explored with popping ropes back and forth and watching a kind of sine wave form and then we took that back and froze a frame and made it a little see through and put it on graph paper. This is all on the iPad and then they had to figure out well if regular sine goes from 0-2 pi and your rope is 9’ long you know the period of this one is 0-9. Get out the calculator or graphing software and what makes the same curve stretch, what makes it squish and what makes it stretch vertically and squish vertically and find an equation that will map your rope.
• 8.
• 9. …we *math team] all need to do the same because everybody needs to have the same thing and equal and all the same time so that makes it hard to be, unless you’re spending your weekends dialing this up as a perfect unit. Actually that needs to be about three weeks in advance so you can present it to your team, see if they like it. If they don’t, then you’ve got this discussion of well, if you don’t do that material and you don’t give them that quiz and that test, well that’s not fair. Your kids are making some frilly little project they’re going to get an “A” on and my kids have to factor something which is hell.…if they just say no we’re not doing that then I’m like oh good, I’ll just put this in a folder of things we’re not doing
• 10. Image of the Possible: School- wide iPad Learning Innovation a story of vision
• 11.
• 12. The recent strategic 5-year plan “mentioned nothing about technology. Nothing.”
• 13. • desire for their students to be citizens of a “digital world.” • “they [HHS students] really are expected to be problem solvers, analytical thinkers, be innovative, producers.” • the “district has a vision of ‘it’s always been 21st century,’” • “Well, don’t call it an iPad initiative. It’s about instruction and that’s *iPad+ a tool.”
• 14. Image: Joe Ravi, CC-BY-SA 3.0 [They] went out there and started seeing the Apps, and it really came from an AHA moment that they all looked at each other and went, “Oh my word. All the things that we’ve been talking about – personalization, individual learning, student directed, activity based, producers of their knowledge – all could be accomplished with that one device, that mobility, that access 24/7. All of those things.”
• 15. Vision Transformative, improved education with iPads that involved ideas such as: personalization, student-directed, problem-solving, analytic thinking, innovation, production, creation, 24/7 Internet access to information and resources, and global learning.
• 16. To “use it *iPad+” and have their students “use it” (Colin) To “get their feet wet” (Heather) To “go out, explore, learn” (Aaron)
• 17. “Most of the teachers began just using it [iPad] as a substitute. So instead of taking notes on a piece of paper, you are using the iPad, and kids did that. Some really changed things in the classroom. Just depending on their comfort level.” (Colin)
• 18. Image of the Possible: Shifting the Social in a College of Education an opportunity for connected learning
• 21. LinkedIn: 6% to 11% SNS for professional activities: 8% to 22% *Shifts from 2008 - 2012
• 23. Experience #2 K-12 or informal education-based SNS teaching cases
• 25. Situational Ingenuity a lesson from pecan farming
• 26. “…*Pecan+ farmers valued the opportunity to solve unexpected problems with pragmatic and innovative solutions. They defined themselves through their own rugged brand of situational ingenuity. 19th C farmers were experimenters, communicators, tinkerers. Confronting *nature’s+ unpredictability was the essential challenge and appeal. It imbued daily work with meaning. It was what rewarded creativity and skill.” McWilliams, J. (2013). The pecan: A history of American’s native nut. Austin: UTexas Press.
• 27. “…Teachers value the opportunity to solve unexpected problems with pragmatic and innovative solutions. They define themselves through their own rugged brand of situational ingenuity. 21st C teachers are experimenters, communicators, tinkerers. Confronting teaching and learning’s unpredictability is the essential challenge and appeal. It imbues daily work with meaning. It is what rewards creativity and skill.”
• 28. Transformative, content-focused classroom technology integration Joan E. Hughes Associate Professor of Learning Technologies The University of Texas at Austin joanh@austin.utexas.edu @techedges Slides available: http://www.slideshare.net/joanhughes/

Editor's Notes

1. Good evening. Tonight I’ll share with you my educational vision for the use of digital technologies in education. I refer to it as transformative, content-focused classroom technology integration. I’m going to illustrate this concept through stories from teachers, a school and its district, and a college of education. But these stories are not going to be pretty, wrap it up in a package with a bow, story. These will show the possibilities but also many of the challenges involved in this work. In these stories, I hope that you’ll discover ways that you, as a teacher, a school leader, a teacher educator, a parent, can assist in this transformation. I’ve been contributing to education for 21 years, first as a classroom computer teacher in Silicon Valley in the mid 90s, and since then as a graduate student and then professor of education. I’ve spent half my career in higher education at University of Texas and prior to that half at University of Minnesota. In all, my research and teaching examines issues of technology integration – in K-12 school contexts and in Colleges of Education where new teachers are prepared. I’d be happy to hear from y’all – my contact info is here including my twitter handle for those so inclined –it’s @TECHEDGES. NEXT SLIDE: Since we are a community of educators gathered here, please take a moment now to introduce yourself to your neighbors: who are you? Why did you come tonight? What do you hope to learn? What do you think of this topic?
2. Since we are a community of educators gathered here, please take a moment now to introduce yourself to your neighbors: who are you? Why did you come tonight? What do you hope to learn? What do you think of this topic? 1 MINUTE: I hope you were able to meet someone new. If not, I hope you and your colleague could share your initial thoughts or past experiences with technology integration. Having that fresh in your mind may draw you into the ideas I’ll share tonight.
3. We are only 14% into the 21st Century. Educators often talk about the “21st Century skills” or “21st Century learning” as goals or aims. The core educational experiences that characterize 21st century learning are: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity --- which aim to lead to success in college, career, and citizenship. Business and industry leaders tout these skills as imperative for today’s workforce. These are referred to as the 4Cs. I want to extend the notion of the 4Cs today.
4. As an overview,Critical thinking involves reasoning, using systems thinking, making judgments and decisions, solving problems. It can be: Inquiry; problem-based; examineContemporary issues; examine ill-structured problems. (no google-able answers)Communication involves(communicating clearly, listening, using multimodal expressions, and sharing with diverse audiences)Collaboration involves working w others; compromising; sharing responsibility)Creativity involves designing, brainstorming, developing new worthwhile ideas, implementing, and constructing. (Design)I WOULD ADD: Connected involves engaging with others locally to globallyContent-focused obviously involves the discipline areas taught in schools, such as math, science, English language arts, social science/studies, PE, art, theater, foreign languageComputing (Digital) but with a focus on ways it amplifies or transforms the learning elements above. (when it goes beyond replacement) [RAT]
5. I would order them in this way, with the yellow pluses indicating my new elements. The first 6Cs really represent the transformative aspect because these approaches move away from teacher-directed instruction with emphasis on lower-level thinking tasks (factual recall, procedural regurgitation) to student-centered learning environments that engage in higher level, cognitively complex tasks. You can attain amazing transformative education with the top 6Cs. While all lessons should be content-focused, I think some but notall of the middle 5Cs must be present in the pedagogy to achieve transformation.The digital computing is key to transformative technology integration, thus the 7Cs for transformative, content-focused technology integration.--------------Content-focused obviously involves the discipline areas taught in schools, such as math, science, English language arts, social science/studies, PE, art, theater, foreign languageCritical thinking involves reasoning, using systems thinking, making judgments and decisions, solving problems. It can be: Inquiry; problem-based; examineContemporary issues; examine ill-structured problems. (no google-able answers)Communication involves(communicating clearly, listening, using multimodal expressions, and sharing with diverse audiences)Collaboration involves working w others; compromising; sharing responsibility)Creativity involves designing, brainstorming, developing new worthwhile ideas, implementing, and constructing. (Design)Connected involves engaging with other locally to globallyComputing (Digital) but with a focus on ways it amplifies or transforms the learning elements above. (when it goes beyond replacement) [RAT]
6. So the first story is of Tom who plans and implements an ipad-supported lesson in his pre-calculus high school course.
7. Tom described this lesson he taught: READ EXCERPTIn this lesson, the students are exploring, creating and capturing a real instantiation of the sine wave with ropes. Then they mash it up by taking a frame overlaid on graph paper on their iPad and then inquiring about its properties using their graphing software. Ultimately they calculate the mathematical equation that matches each of their unique rope sine waves. And understand how their equation might change with stretchy or squishes on their wave.
8. Here’s a stagnant representation of what Tom is describing.Tom could have given them a sine wave on a piece of graph paper and asked them to calculate the equation, but he felt situating the lesson in a way that the students built the literal problem frame (the rope sine wave) and had the potential to manipulate it, explore it on the fly, quickly, iteratively was important. In terms of the 7Cs, he’s content-focused, he has the students collaborating with each other to set up the problem space, critically thinking about the mathematics and the rope wave, and using video, capture, graphic overlays, and graphing calculators and software to allow for the iterative explorations. But there was a challenge for Tom…------------http://www.worldlifestyle.com/fitness/improve-your-fitness-rope-training
9. He goes on to tell me: This is a story of the challenge of standardization – in terms of: learning experiences, teaching approaches, testing. Unfortunately, Tom did not continue to create projects such as this and went back to his typical lecture and test pedagogical approach. “My approach to teaching. Well, it’s very much you know presentation, lecture, give them practice while I’m up here. I try to stop throughout lessons and make sure they have time to work on stuff. Not just solid listening to me. That is pretty much how it goes.”The question for us: “How big are we willing to let these folders of things we’re not doing this year.” get?
10. Next, I’ll share a story of a high school beginning the first year of a school-wide iPad learning innovation.
11. Hilly High School is asuburban, high-achieving high school in which most students go on to college. It’s a small district with about 8,000 students and the HS had 2,500 students enrolled. [CLICK] In their first year, the planned on distributing iPads to the junior and seniors. I will focus on how HHS decided to pursue this innovation and the complexity of developing and enacting a vision for change;Bkgd:The iPad learning initiative occurred at Hilly High School, a school located in a suburban area that serves a socioeconomically-advantaged (3.2% economically disadvantaged), predominantly White (71.6%), Hispanic (13.9%), and Asian (9.6%) student population in a small district (about 8,000 total students). HHS serves approximately 2,500 students of which 1.6% are English language learners and 7.3% qualify for special education.
12. The vision for this initiative was technology-focused and learning-focused. It began when the superintendent (a) Crystal’s realized of a lack of technology focus in the district strategic 5-yearplan.She was shocked that it “mentioned nothing about technology. Nothing.” They also had aging technology and an upcoming bond proposal.
13. Multiple leaders shared preferences for students to develop the 21 century skills (4Cs): collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and communication.
14. Then(c) four leaders’ had “aha” moments at Apple headquarters when they felt the new iPad provided the solution to the technological gap and the educational experience they sought for students in the district. The superintendent described: “[They – the leaders] went out there and started seeing the Apps, and it really came from an AHA moment that they all looked at each other and went, “Oh my word. All the things that we’ve been talking about – personalization, individual learning, student directed, activity based, producers of their knowledge – all could be accomplished with that one device, that mobility, that access 24/7. All of those things.”-----This vision, alone, might suggest the iPad is being perceived as a “silver bullet” to transformative educational change. Cuban (2001) explained that “superintendents have been pressed to purchase new hardware and software, in the belief that if technology were introduced to the classroom, it would be used, and if it were used, it would transform schooling” (p. 13). A decade later and with continued evidence of unrealized reform with educational technology, Cuban (2013) argued that integrating technology in education is complex (not complicated) and simply changing resources is not sufficient. Fullan (2007) also argued change necessitates shifts in beliefs and practices, as well as resources. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Apple_Headquarters_in_Cupertino.jpg
15. From this, the leaders of this initiative communicated a vision of transformative, improved education with iPads that involved ideas such as: personalization, student-directed, problem-solving, analytic thinking, innovation, production, creation, 24/7 Internet access to information and resources, and global learning. However, at least in this first year, the learning-focused part of the vision did not appear to be “actionable”
16. Leaders held non-judgmental, risk-tolerantexpectations for teachers.Leaders described their expectations, such as Colin (Asst Superintendent) wanted them: to “use it [iPad]” and have their students “use it” (Colin), Heather, principal: to “get their feet wet” (Heather, principal), to “go out, explore, learn” (Aaron, IT tech integration director). The findings also revealed the few professional learning opportunities (due to budget cuts) that focused on iPad hardware and software capabilities rather than the transformative educational vision articulated by leaders. The leaders created a culture of risk-taking and acceptance of failure, teachers met expectations to explore and use the iPads BUT any movement toward the transformed, improved educational vision was slow and idiosyncratic.
17. Colin felt that “most of the teachers began just using it [iPad] as a substitute. So instead of taking notes on a piece of paper, you are using the iPad and kids did that. Some really changed things in the classroom. Just depending on their comfort level.” Ultimately, we observed the non-negotiable need for substantial, vision-aligned professional learning opportunities.A lack of clarity of goals and means of implementation can hinder change but, too much planning is one of the biggest reasons change fails because they never get started. This initiative benefited from leaders who did not overplan, accepted the uncertainty of the path ahead, and the certainty that the path would require shifts. By year’s end, these leaders became clearer of their needs, namely the need for more support and professional learning. Such support would have to prioritize their vision for transformed learning (over iPad software and hardware) in order for teachers and others to understand what it was expected in practice.--------------Selwyn (2011) explains if there is no time and no support, the innovation does not challenge the “grammar of schooling,” a terms to describe a school’s engrained educational format and goals. In such cases, as Selwyn (2011) and Cuban (2001, 2013) comprehensively describe, technology integration occurs within the grammar of schooling rather than challenging and changing the grammar of schooling. For this iPad learning initiative to truly reflect instructional and learning transformation, the professional learning needs to reflect such a vision and create challenging opportunities for practitioners to shift their pedagogical beliefs. Indeed, pockets of pedagogical innovation always emerge, but they are individually-driven and thus, idiosyncratic. Ultimately, teachers in schools with technological expectations, awareness of the vision, and goals use technology more often in the classroom (Tondeur et al., 2008).Educational change is a complex balancing act (Cuban, 2011).
18. The next story highlights how a college of education could help create connected educators. As mentioned earlier, I added the concept of “connected” as one of the 7Cs. Connected connotes the idea that learners connect and interact with others locally or globally to support their learning. I’ll describe a bit more what I mean by connected educators in this context. -------------------The use of social networking for professional learning and networking is becoming more prominent and important in the U.S. teacher workforce due to lack of technological preparation in undergraduate teacher education programs, limited school-based professional learning opportunities and technical support, and the continuous emergence of new technologies.For example, National Center for Educational Statistics data reveals: Only 25% of teachers felt their teacher education program helped them prepare to effectively use education technology for instruction to moderate or major extent (Gray, Thomas, &amp; Lewis, 2010b). Only 64% of K-12 schools report that teachers are sufficiently trained to integrate technology into classroom instruction (Gray, Thomas, &amp; Lewis, 2010a). ONly 8% of school-level administrators in public schools provide technical support for educational technology to major extent, and 32% of them do not provide any technical support (Gray, Thomas, &amp; Lewis, 2010a).THUS, we (must leverage connected learners)
19. Educators who use social technologies for professional learning are called connected educators - they learn, collaborate, interact with professionals to understand and innovate.There are 3 ways that connected education can happen moves from the local to the global. 1. teachers can learn in PLCs. 2. Teaches can develop their personal networks connecting to selected people or organizations they respect and want to learn from through social technologies , such as Twitter, Facebook, wiki, Pinterest, listservs, blogging, digital porftolios, podcasting 3. they can join global communities of practices. SUCH as formal communities like National Council for Social Studies Ning Community or the National Council for Teachers of English online forums. I’m sure the organizations you are part of have connected opportunities. I’ll share some data on one college of education’s students in terms of their social technology use to get a sense if they are connected educators.
20. Here are some quick stats on the data from one university based COE (which was technology-infused, too). Results reveal nearly all preservice teachers used general social sites (e.g., Facebook), but the number of preservice teachers that had ‘never’ used specialized SNS was noteworthyAbout 40% never read blogs, wrote blogs, or read wiki; about 90% never wrote wiki, and about 80% never read/wrote Twitter. SLIDE: They also told us about their professional uses.
21. Our findings also revealed increasing, though low, use of social sites for professional networking/learning. LinkedIn use increased from 6% in 2008 to 11% by 2012. General SNS use for professional activities increased each year from 8% in 2008 to 22% in 2012. We discovered these preservice teachers were not experiencing these technologies as learners, reflecting upon them as designers, nor examining ethical issues related to their professional or classroom use.I share with you a 3-part connected education experience for preservice teachers. -----As new educators, they would be unprepared to involve SNS technologies for classroom teaching/learning experiences or for their own professional learning, and mentoring from veteran teachers at a future school site could be unlikely, as only 16% of teachers use blogs and /or wikis ‘sometimes or often’ in classroom teaching, and only 8% of teachers ‘sometimes or often’ use social networking websites (Gray, Thomas, &amp; Lewis, 2010b).For those preservice teachers reporting SNS, blog, wiki, and Twitter use, we saw more consumption (e.g., reading) than sharing (e.g., posting, writing) activities. The lack of experience and focus on sharing, posting, writing, and expressing may limit these preservice teachers’ understandings of multi-modal and collaborative expression.
22. First, teacher educators may design teacher-led, curricular-focused SNS learning experiences in closed SNS (e.g., Ning, Elgg, Edmodo). for example book talk – in a children’s literature course in ways that call them to engage in reader response (Colwell et al., 2012) or other curricular-specific learning activities. This experience targets the preservice teacher as a learner in which they use features of a closed SNS to learn. This can also be done in typical university online learning management systems though they don’t always appear like social sites. A closed SNS allows for community-building, experimentation, mistakes, and failures (for the instructor and the learner) with low-risks as no data is publically available. Ning and Edmodo are subscription based social tools while elgg is an open source SNS that could be hosted at your university. Together, the instructor and learners should explicitly reflect upon such SNS experiences to articulate how the SNS did or did not contribute to instruction and learning. Elgg: open source social networking engineEdmodo: online classes “appeal of social network”
23. Second, teacher educators can include K-12 or informal education-based SNS teaching cases in the preservice curriculum.Cases could be practitioner-based articles (such as ISTE’s Learning and Leading with Technology in Education), guest speakers (other connected educators), field-based observations, or narrative or video cases. For example, the NY Times did a couple pieces on connected learning, one of which profiles 35 different connected learning activities that teachers submitted. For example, Diana Laufenberg | Science Leadership Academy told of lesson:“During the State of the Union address I asked my students to watch, take notes and come to class prepared to have a discussion. I then offered them a variety of pathways to have a dynamic and connected conversation. The ability for the students to choose from a closedchatroom, an I.M. or a hashtagged Twitter chat invited them to select a version of communication that suited them best. Additionally, being able to connect us all, while we all sat in our living rooms, dramatically increased their understanding of the content, process and function.” These experiences target the preservice teacher as teacher and designer. Again, the teacher educator and preservice teachers should explicitly reflect upon such SNS cases to determine (a) how the social technology did or did not contribute to instruction and learning and (b) how the lesson might be redesigned for improvement.as illustrated in Mikulec (2012). They read articles about in-service teachers ranging from dismissals b/c of inappropriate content, to privacy discussion, to emerging school policies.
24. Third, teacher educators to design learner-centered, curricular-focused learning experiences in open SNS (e.g., Twitter, FaceBook, professionally-sponsored SNS) such as ISTE’s Young educator network, NCSS’s ning site, or the connected educator.org site.These experiences again situate the preservice teacher as a learner in which they engage with the teaching profession and begin to develop into a connected educator. These are open and therefore public sites.Preservice teachers could participate within open social sites as lurkers (i.e., observing, reading, watching), participants (i.e., posting, communicating), or leaders (i.e., organizing an event).October is “Connected Educator Month” during which hundreds of organizations crowd-source free professional learning opportunities, most of which involve online social technologies.So this triad of experiences could be implemented in Colleges of Education and contribute towards developing preservice teacher graduates (new teachers) who have connected learning experiences that position them as connected educators in their new schools. A formidable challenge exists in enacting this suggested sequence of learning experiences for reshaping teacher education towardconnected learning: teacher educators must develop knowledge and experiences to design, scaffold, and model these experiences (Mallia, 2013).
25. The thread through all of these stories is teachers’ “situational ingenuity.” I feel this ingenuity is an important way that transformational, content-focused technology integration occurs.In reading about The Pecan (america’s native nut), I came upon an excerpt describing farmers’ ingenuity that reminded me of what teachers love to do.
26. With some bits missing for brevity, McWilliams writes: McWilliams, J. (2013). The pecan: A history of American’s native nut. Austin: University of Texas Press.
27. I reframed that with a focus on teachers &amp; leads us to the following: READ EXCERPTTeachers with time and support can be ingenious designers in their own classrooms. Tom revealed his creative, ingenious approach to teaching mathematical concepts but was challenged by the standardization of education.Perhaps once the teachers at Hilly High understood the learning-focused vision, they’d meet the challenge through experimentation and tinkering. Or will they? A little more to the story is that Tom was a teacher in the HHS. He was one of the idiosyncratic teachers who were able to be situationally ingenious and develop new lessons that supported the learning-focused vision. But the standardization of education, at least in the tested disciplines, eliminated his ability to enact his ingenuity. In a school-based innovation, such as HHS, we need learning-based visions but also policies and supports that will back-up teachers’ ingenious solutions to classroom challenges. Colleges of education can prepare new teachers (and their faculty) to be connected, which will allow them a wide community of support &amp; scaffolding for learning, innovation and ideas. Classrooms and learners need teachers’ situational ingenuity. Teachers can identify problems of practice, explore possible solutions using their connected networks, and build curricular and pedagogical solutions to the challenges in their context that are transformative in the ways that my 7Cs model envisions. In the process – just like the pecan farmers: Teachers will be challenged. Teachers will be creative.Teachers will find appeal and meaning in their work. Learners will achieve higher levels of learning. Please let’s work to make this happen!
28. I would be happy to answer any questions.
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